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No Itinerary: Chef Brady Williams Just Wants To Relax

Welcome to Chef's Day Off, a new feature that examines the special spaces chefs inhabit while enjoying that sacred day away from the pass.

[Photos: Sara Kerens/EDFW]

Brady Williams is a familiar face in Oak Cliff. He lives there, he rides his bike there, and he works there—at least, until the end of this week. Williams is transitioning away from the Spillers Group (Oddfellows, Eno's, Union Bear) and to Matt McCallister's FT33, opening this summer in the Design District. There he'll serve as the chef de cuisine.

Williams generously allowed intrepid photographer Sara Kerens to crash a couple of his days off and capture photographic evidence of what a rising star like him does when he's not cooking, plating, planning, ordering, retooling...

What tattoo were you getting worked on, and what shop was it?
For the past few months, I've been making progress on a full sleeve. It's fully outlined, so we're now to the point of shading and coloring. My great-grandfather was a photojournalist and was on the initial staff of the LIFE magazine. He was also good friends with Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham and John Steinbeck; his time on the field with Steinbeck was spent documenting the Great Depression and curating the work that would later become The Grapes of Wrath. My sleeve is a tribute to his work through the years. He was by no means perfect, but he lived a pretty remarkable life, and the tattoos serve as a reminder of both where I come from and to live a good story.

Sean McQueary from Queen City Tattoo is the artist. Not only is he super-talented, but he's a really solid dude.

When you're off-shift, not cooking, where do you feel most relaxed?
I'm kind of a home-body. I live in a quad-plex in Oak Cliff and some of my closest friends also have space there. It's nice in that we have our own space, but can live intentionally and in community with each other. I tend not to stray too far from here on days off. We have a huge front porch which gets used frequently and is the setting for great conversation, dinners, and bourbon-drinking.

What's your favorite way to spend an afternoon off?
I value my days off and really try to treat them as a break from the rhythm that is the rest of my week. I try not to plan anything on these days. Typically, I'll spend the mornings reading then maybe grab lunch with a friend or go for a bike ride if the weather is nice. In the evenings, a small group of us might make dinner (meaning: my neighbors will cook) at the house, after which we'll usually retreat to the front porch. If I do go out, it's usually for a cocktail at the Windmill or Cedars Social. All in all, though, I keep it pretty low-key and try to use the day to rest and prepare for the upcoming week.

· All Brady Williams Coverage on Eater Dallas [-EDFW-]